My Pond History

Ponds Past and Present


Started with a small tub on the patio of my apartment with some floating plants and E. cordifolius, an aquarium sword plant that transitions well outside in the summer.

Once I purchased my first house, I was able to go a bit bigger:

Small preformed pond including black mollies in summer dug in to the front yard


Old hydrotherapy tank disposed of at work hauled home to the backyard:


Left these behind when I got a different house, started using 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tanks:


Recently achieved substantial completion on my first liner pond which is what brought me to this forum-looking for ideas on edge designs and techniques as well as liner construction-thanks to all here on the forum for the many pictures and experiences.


Planning and Construction

I finally decided to dig a pond in the ground after years of procrastination and various injuries preventing heavy digging. I also needed to exercise with a goal so I started my Pondercise project.

I had bought a Henri Water Gardening Pondalene liner at a store closing sale about 15 years ago. It appeared to be PVC, 20'x12' and 32mil thick. I considered a new 45 mil EPDM liner but I had this one, and if it did not last, exercise was a goal anyway so I would replace it.

There is limited sun in my yard so the best place was a slope beneath my existing Rubbermaid pond. I started digging and built a bank on the down slope to level the pond. The dirt on the slope is near the back of my house so I assume it is mostly fill from the foundation hole, full of rocks and gravel of all sizes.

As I was digging, I would hit another clump of rocks, clear that out, hit some more and the pond became a bit wider than I intended and almost too wide for the liner. It did not help that once unpacked, the liner was 8" narrower than listed on the box. I had just enough to cover the top of the berm.

I was concerned about the erosion and settling of the berm so I picked up a small EPDM liner on clearance locally to layer underneath the short end of the primary liner, and cover the outside of the berm.

For underlayment I used 4'x125' 5.6oz. Duraweb geotextile non-woven polypropylene purchased from a local home improvement store. I used multiple crisscrossed layers due to all the rocks in the soil. It was a bit troublesome to keep the strips in place while walking on it to place the liner so I might go with a one piece underlayment if done again.

I built a ledge about foot down from level to hold my edge rocks to prevent liner from showing and have a nice natural edge. I would have liked a plant shelf but raccoons would have been in it and used it for a fishing platform.

Most of my edge rocks were on my property and a coworker with a small farm gave me the rest from his rock pile. All were placed manually, using a sling made from geotextile with some of the bigger ones.

Halfway through placing the edge rocks, I put a hole in the liner on the ledge shifting a rock with a sharp edge. After patching, I installed a strip of geotextile between the rocks and liner to prevent future mishaps.

I patched it using Tite Seal EPDM patch kit supposed to work on all liner materials. Seemed to adhere pretty good but to reinforce the edges, I used PL Polyurethane Roof & Flashing Sealant. Since I was in no rush, I let it cure almost a week to be sure, before filling back up.

2022 Added a converted water softener barrel up flow filter to help cope with turtle bio load. Landscaping lava rock as filter media, Canna lilies and impatiens in mesh pots with geotextile fabric holding soil hanging on rim of barrel. Overflows in to first turtle tub.

Fish / Plant Stock

I stocked the pond with several lunker goldfish I have had for years, a hardy water lily, horsetail rush and some cattails I got from a friend, whose goldfish I used to winter, retiring his small pond.

Since covering the berm resulted in a rock pile, I wanted to break that up a bit using plants in the crevices.

Hen and chicks, Edelweiss on right, Iris above between the edge rocks:


Bacopa monneri from my aquariums, roots in the water between rocks:


Sunrise on the pond:

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